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LABOR AGREEMENT: A formal, official, legal contract between a firm and the labor union representing the firm's employees. Such an agreement stipulates the various aspects of employment, including wages, fringe benefits, vacations, layoffs, promotions, and grievance procedures. The terms of the agreement are generally negotiated through the collective bargaining process. Should the collective bargaining process breakdown, the terms of the labor agreement might be helped along through a third-party mediator. If this doesn't help, then the labor union might call a strike or the firm might impose a lockout. Once in effect, any questions about the terms of the agreement are often subject to arbitration.

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IMPORT: Goods and services produced by the foreign sector and purchased by the domestic economy. In other words, imports are goods purchased from other countries. The United States, for example, buys a lot of the stuff produced within the boundaries of other countries, including bananas, coffee, cars, chocolate, computers, and, well, a lot of other products. Imports, together with exports, are the essence of foreign trade--goods and services that are traded among the citizens of different nations. Imports and exports are frequently combined into a single term, net exports (exports minus imports).

     See also | foreign sector | domestic | foreign trade | export | net exports | balance of trade | free trade | trade barriers | quota | comparative advantage | competition | market control |


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UTILITARIANISM

A philosophical view that the value or worth of an action depends on the amount of pleasure it generates or the amount of pain it prevents, or in economic terms, the amount of utility generated. Utilitarianism, although dating back to the early Greek philosophers, is largely attributable to the work of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. This philosophy played a major role in the development of modern consumer demand theory and utility analysis.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store hoping to buy either throw pillows for your bed or a package of blank rewritable CDs. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
"Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy."

-- Voltaire, philosopher

AIBD
Association of International Bond Dealers (now called International Securities Market Association)
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